A fine stramash in Scottish housing

ROB ABERDEIN, PARTNER, ABERDEIN CONSIDINE
ROB ABERDEIN, PARTNER, ABERDEIN CONSIDINE

There is still only one issue on the radar north of the border and that is the ramifications of the recent Royal Bank of Scotland versus Wilson case.

The Scottish government has over-ruled long-established procedures by holding that the creditor must issue a calling-up notice before proceeding with repossession.

There is a good chance there will be remedial legislation as the Conveyancing and Feudal Reform (Scotland) Act 1970 and the Home Owner and Debtor Protection (Scotland) Act 2010 no longer work well together.

This may mean moving back to the statutory position prior to the Wilson case or potentially even a pre-2010 act, or a new act.

Repossessions in Scotland have virtually ceased and that will likely continue into early August. The housing market continues to deteriorate and arrears have mounted as the new post-Wilson recovery timeline stretches out the days to repossession.

The Registers of Scotland are creating issues for purchasers and lenders by refusing to clear titles.

We are unclear what will happen when cases get to court and what the sheriffs’ attitudes will be.

It is also unclear whether the new rules apply to abandoned properties and we still have the undesirable situation of buy-to-let portfolios caught by the 2010 act.

The Scottish government and UK Supreme Court have created what can only be described colloquially as a stramash.